Robert E. Taylor, age 83, of Galesburg, IL, died at 10:40 P.M., Friday night, June 27, 2014, at Knox County Nursing Home, in Knoxville, IL. He was preceded in death by his parents, Walter H. Taylor, Sr., and Nellie U. Taylor, both of Elmwood, IL, and a brother, Charles R. Taylor, of Lewistown, IL. He is survived by his brother, Walter H. Taylor, Jr., a special friend, Phyllis Waller, both of Galesburg, IL, and a son, Russell E. Taylor, of Silvis, IL.
Robert (“Bob”) was born February 1, 1931 in Geneseo, IL, and grew up with a tremendous love of the outdoors. He learned to shoot at an early age and enjoyed shooting all types of firearms. He felt at home anytime he was in the woods, having a great knowledge of plants, trees, and wildlife. He graduated from Elmwood High School and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps; he was exceptionally proud of his military service. After hanging up his uniform, he learned the trade of watch repair at Bradley University, Peoria, IL. Indeed, he repaired watches and clocks for many years, as a side job, while working full-time for the Outboard Marine Corporation as an inspector. He retired from OMC after 27 years of exceptional work.
Bob married Kathryn Jeanne Shores, June 24, 1956; they divorced in 1974. Years later, as a member of the American Legion post in Galesburg, he met Phyllis Waller, and they shared 21 years together, going for drives, attending auctions on Saturdays… and most especially, trapshooting. Phyllis had never fired guns before she met Bob, but he taught her how to shoot and taught her well. During the warmer months of the year, Bob and Phyllis regularly attended weekly league-shooting competitions; they were both recognized locally as very-accomplished shooters. Bob loved to shoot trap (all shooting sports, really, but most especially trap), and was always eager to share what he knew with new shooters. He had many friends and was well-liked by them all. He regularly had breakfast with his buddies at McDonalds on weekdays and biscuits & gravy with Phyllis at Hardee’s on Sundays; these were rituals he greatly enjoyed and his friends already miss him terribly.
Besides being a member of the American Legion, he was a life member of the National Rifle Association, and belonged to the Smithfield Gun Club, the Elmwood Gun Club, the Little John Conservation Club, and always looked forward to trapshooting at the yearly Joe Moore Trophy Shoot in Kewanee, IL, with tremendous excitement.
In his younger years, Bob enjoyed riding motorcycles, tinkering with cars, and looking for arrow heads, about which he had a deep fascination. He and his son would often walk through fields, where once had been Indian villages or battles, looking for – and often finding – arrow heads, tomahawk heads, pieces of pottery, and various other artifacts of interest. He loved this hobby so much he eventually taught himself how to make arrow heads, even to the point of giving them an “aged” appearance.
For decades, Bob was a voracious reader. He loved to buy all kinds of books and read every one of them. Books, books, books… the man loved books and he loved to read! He spent a lot of time reading the Bible, books about history, books about hunting, books about guns, books about virtually anything you could imagine. He was well-read and could discuss, with a firm understanding, many subjects. He also loved to tell stories (many about dogs), and his “breakfast friends” were so captivated by his stories that the group which regularly met for morning meals sometimes didn’t break up until one o’clock in the afternoon!
During recent years, Bob became quite a fan of baseball; his favorite team was the Chicago Cubs, but he loved to watch baseball games on television without regard to who was playing.
Per his wishes, cremation rites will be accorded at Hurd-Hendricks Funeral Home and Crematory in Knoxville, IL, with no visitation service. His cremains will be interred in the Elmwood Township Cemetery, in Elmwood, IL, at 11:00 A.M. on Thursday, July 03, 2014, following a brief graveside service. He asked that no memorial donations be made. Online condolences and sympathy cards may be sent through www.hurd-hendricksfuneralhome.com